Report: car with firefighters hits and kills another firefighter

A car overloaded with U.S. Forest Service firefighters hit and killed another USFS firefighter in northern California.

Fox40 is reporting a bizarre story about how a car overloaded with U.S. Forest Service firefighters hit and killed another USFS firefighter who was lying in the road. The incident occurred at 1 a.m. Saturday on Marysville Road about 20 miles north of Nevada City in northern California.

Below is an excerpt from the article:

“…According to the California Highway Patrol, another car heading east along Marysville Road stopped after the driver saw a person lying in the westbound roadway. Seeing a 2002 Hyundai Accent driving right into where the person was lying, the other driver started flashing his high-beams.

However, the Hyundai – reportedly driven by 26-year-old San Diego resident Andrew Gruenberg – kept on going and ran over the pedestrian.

CHP says that one of the six other passengers in the Hyundai – which is designed to only carry five passengers, including the driver – called 911 to report that they believe they had just run over an animal.

The Hyundai eventually stopped two miles down the road, where two of its passengers got off and into another car to drive back to the scene of the accident. They soon found that emergency personnel were at the scene, tending to the pedestrian who was hit by the Hyundai.

The pedestrian was identified as 32-year-old Camptonville resident Michael P. Kelley II. He had suffered major blunt-force trauma to his head and torso and was pronounced dead at the scene, CHP says.

CHP believes that alcohol played a factor in the incident, but no arrests have been made as of Sunday night.

Gruenberg, Kelley and all six other passengers in the Hyundai are said to be employed as firefighters for the Hotshots crew of the U.S. Forest Service in Yuba County, CHP notes.”


UPDATE November 19, 2013 at 12:33 MST:

The AP reports that Mr. Kelly was a full-time employee and squad boss on the Tahoe Hotshot crew. Mr. Gruenberg is also on the crew.

Other sources told Wildfire Today that Mr. Kelly rookied with the McCall Smokejumpers in 2012 and was based in West Yellowstone in 2013.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.